DA sends teams to 8 countries exporting meat

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
DA sends teams to 8 countries exporting meat
A vendor arranges meat up for sale at Paco Public Market in Manila on February 1, 2024.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is sending eight teams to various meat-exporting countries to determine if their products are safe for human consumption and do not pose a threat to domestic livestock and poultry population.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel formed eight inspection missions for accreditation of foreign meat establishments (FMEs) in Argentina, Denmark, India, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United States and Uruguay.

Under existing rules and regulations, FMEs must be accredited by the DA before they can ship meat and meat products to the country. FME accreditations are regularly reviewed to ensure that they comply with international and domestic food safety laws and standards.

The mission will entail on-site inspection and validation of documents of the FMEs, according to the DA. The inspection teams are composed of technical experts on border control and animal health from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), an attached agency of the DA.

The inspection teams were given a month after the completion of their missions to submit their report to the DA Accreditation Review Body (ARB) for the evaluation of the accreditation of the FMEs.

Based on the latest rules by the DA, the funding for the on-site inspection missions will be shouldered by both the DA and the foreign country.

The US and Spain are two of the largest meat exporters to the Philippines after Brazil. The US shipped over 220,000 metric tons of meat products to the Philippines last year while Spain exported over 144,000 MT, based on BAI data.

Argentina, Denmark, India and Sweden are already accredited exporters of various meat products to the Philippines.

There are no currently accredited FMEs from Russia and Uruguay, according to government documents.

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